MESA solar boat
A MESA team of students from Savanna High School used math, physics, and engineering skills to create and race a 16-foot solar-powered canoe.

»MESA: Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Program

The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Schools Program at Chapman University has been serving students in the Orange County area since 1975. Statewide, MESA has an even longer history, celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year! Since its founding at UC Berkeley in 1970, MESA has encouraged students - especially those from underserved populations – to learn about math, science and engineering in new and exciting ways. MESA has a tradition of preparing students to go to four-year colleges and universities. Many MESA alumni go on to graduate with math and science-based degrees and go into professions in these fields. Locally, we are sponsored by the Schmid College of Science and Technology and the College of Educational Studies at Chapman University.

+-News and Events

Southern MESA Advisory Regional Training, 09/28:

Welcome back! We’re looking forward to a great year of MESA events including USC College Day, JPL Invention Challenge, MESA Day Competitions, Robotics Competitions and more.


The mission of the Chapman University MESA Program is to develop in disadvantaged students, especially those from underrepresented groups, the knowledge and skills that will enhance their interest and prepare them for professions requiring degrees in science, engineering and other mathematics and science-based fields. Locally, MESA involves a partnership between Chapman University, area schools, school districts, industries and professional organizations. We serve students in grades 6–12 in 22 area schools from 7 schools districts. Major elements of the program include:
  • Hands-on Projects
  • MESA Day Competitions
  • School-site MESA meetings (either as a class period or as a meeting before or after school)
  • Academic Advising
  • SAT/PSAT Fee Waivers
  • Study Skills training
  • Career & College Exploration
  • Parent Involvement
  • Professional Development for Teachers


MESA was founded in 1970, coming to the Orange County area five years later. To the extent possible under California law, MESA encourages participation by students from groups that have been historically underrepresented at four-year institutions. Currently there are twenty-three MESA centers around California. Collectively, these centers serve over 20,000 students at 316 schools. The MESA Program in California has served as a model for similar programs in seven other states.

MESA is Successful!

In addition to encouraging students to learn about math, science and engineering, MESA has worked to establish a college-going culture. Over 70% of MESA graduates go directly to college after graduation, compared to a statewide rate of 48% On a local level, the program in Orange County can point to the successes of numerous MESA alumni who have earned their bachelor’s and higher-level degrees and gone on to serve their families and communities in a variety of math and science-based careers.

+-For Parents

Parents and families are a very important part of MESA’s program!

We know that parents who are involved in their children’s lives contribute to their success by contributing things like academic assistance, life experiences advice, encouragement and emotional support. We also realize that many parents may have questions about things like high school requirements, college applications and financial aid. MESA wants to make sure that parents have the necessary resources to be effective advocates for their children. To help achieve this, we invite parents and families to get involved in MESA. How can parents get involved?

  • Check to see if your child’s school hosts a MESA parent night
  • Volunteer at a MESA event on the Chapman University campus (Call us at 714-532-7790)
  • Attend MESA Day competitions to cheer for your son or daughter

Please feel free to contact your child’s MESA Advisor or the Chapman University MESA Program for more information on any of these opportunities or to find out what MESA can offer your student.

+-For Advisors

Welcome MESA advisors!

We look forward to working with you this year as you help your students excel in math and science and encourage them to become eligible for the most competitive college and universities.

We are ready to build on last years activities and lessons and provide our MESA students with some fun new projects and trips this year.

All advisors must have an online Advisor Profile. This profile gives us important contact information and is required by our statewide office.

Meetings are held periodically to keep our advisors up to date on MESA's happenings.  Please check the schedule for our next meeting date.

+-For Students

Are you new to MESA?

MESA is a program that teaches students like you about math, science and engineering through hands-on projects, competitions and field trips. It can also help you plan for college and make sure you take the necessary classes and tests to get there. Last year, MESA students worked with their classmates to build mousetrap cars and gliders, create websites, give speeches, and much more. They also traveled to places like USC to take part in robotics competitions, Catalina Island to study the ecosystem, Astro Camp to experience how an astronaut prepares for space travel and to UC Riverside to compete in Regional MESA Day. At the end of the year, we honored students, advisors and schools at the annual high school awards banquet. While many students received awards, we especially highlighted our seniors for their many accomplishments.

Download the 2013-2014 application to enroll with MESA.

If you’re returning to MESA, we know you’re familiar with a lot of the MESA projects. In addition to some of your favorite activities from last year, we also have a few new things planned this year. We’ll also continue to help you explore different college and majors as well as careers in math, science and engineering.

+-Contact Us

Mailing Address:

Chapman University
MESA Program
One University Drive, SC 52
Orange, California 92866

Phone: (714) 532-7790
Fax: (714) 532-6048

Campus Location:

Chapman University
Hashinger Science Center, Room #52
346 N. Center Street
(Corner of Center Street and Palm Avenue)


Vonna Hammerschmitt

Nicole Michaelis
Program Manager

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2013 Solar Cup student
The 2013 MESA team of students from Savanna High School took 1st place in the Nation’s largest solar-powered boat competition.